5 Best Track Spikes in 2024 (2024)

A well-selected pair of track and field shoes can be a real performance booster or even help you set a new PB.

We have tested and reviewed over 60 pairs of track and field shoes to help you buy the best one. We cited every little detail we could find about the shoes, even how they worked in different aspects when we were running, jumping, and throwing while wearing them. Whether you are an advanced athlete looking for a premium shoe or a beginner on a tight budget, we’ve got the top picks for you.

Table of contents

How we test track spikesBest overallBest for sprintsBest for raceBest for long distanceBest for cross-countryComparisonWhy use a track shoeTrack shoes vs running shoes: 3 key differencesTrack and field shoe categoriesFrequently asked questions


How we test track spikes

Here at RunRepeat, we provide you with recommendations for the best track and field shoes based on our very own experiences and observations. We set the process in motion by getting hold of the shoes we wanted to test. We purchase the pairs so that we do not need to gratify anyone, especially brands, by providing a good review.

We then proceed with wearing the shoes in our actual track and field sports and activities. We assess all the things we can notice about the shoes, but we make sure that we spend a good and substantial amount of time on each of them before we finalize our thoughts.

Next up, we collect more usable data by measuring and scoring the parameters of the shoes through our lab tests. We quantify 30+ parameters, one of which is durability. For this test, we use our Dremel tool to apply force on the different parts of the shoes, then we employ our expertise to subjectively discern how durable and abrasion-resistant the shoes are.

By the way, we also split the shoes in half to uncover all the parts of the shoes for us to investigate and take note.

Best track shoes overall

Nike Air Zoom Victory



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What makes it the best?

We tested the best spikes on track and discovered Nike’s Air Zoom Victory to be the best of its kind. In our track sessions, it shines best in mid-distances with its unrivaled speed, almost weightless build, and insane grip. At $180, it’s a premium shoe that matches the performance of elites.

Deserving of its name, Air Zoom Victory is an aggressive speedster. The heel feels cushioned for comfort, whereas the forefoot has a one-of-a-kind feel. We experience two phases distinctly with every stride. The first is some compression because of the Air Zoom Unit, and then we get a springy response upon takeoff due to the Flyplate. We find that this spike performs best in 800m-3k distances.

This pair is race-ready with an immensely breathable Atomknit upper that stretches to fit our feet like a glove. The high-quality material secures our feet in place. It helps us fly on track as it’s much lighter than the average track spike (4.6 oz/130g vs. 6.2 oz/175g).

No matter how fast we run, Nike’s ShockWave Generated Outsole Plate keeps the ride smooth and steady. There are 6 spikes in the forefoot to ensure grip during races, while the heel perimeter has sharkskin for traction and durability.

On fast curves, we sometimes felt unstable because of its unique ride. It also takes some time to get used to it. Best to test this out before taking it to races.


  • True to size
  • Snug race-like fit
  • Secure lockdown
  • Lightweight
  • Very springy feeling
  • Unrivaled breathability
  • Fairly cushioned
  • Perfect for middle distance
  • Elite level, insane quality


  • Expensive
  • Adjustment period might be needed
  • Unstable on curves

Full review of Nike Air Zoom Victory

Best track shoes for sprints

Nike Zoom Superfly Elite 2



What makes it the best?

We bolted through 100m-400m distances in search of the best track spike for sprints — Nike’s Zoom Superfly Elite 2 dominated this category. As its name says, it’s a lightweight elite spike that unleashes our speed and power beyond our imagination. The shoe feels insanely propulsive, grippy, and race-ready with its fit.

The spike feels airy on foot, but its energy return makes its presence undeniable. Underfoot, the full-length Pebax spike plate feels stiff to ensure maximum speed with some flexion for smooth toe-offs. Our runs feel so powerful for 100m sprints, yet comfortable enough to race our hearts until 400m.

The sole has a honeycomb pattern with 8 removable stainless-steel pins, ensuring the spike will grip well on track even as we approach curves.

The Atomknit upper feels light and breathable as it hugs our feet snugly. The Flyknit fabric stretches to accommodate the shape of our feet, whereas the heel area locks us down nicely and comfortably.

Its premium quality is reflected in its $150 price tag. It’s more expensive than its counterparts, but we honestly think it’s worth the investment.


  • Comfortable
  • Light
  • Snappy & propulsive
  • See-through breathable upper
  • Sock-like fit
  • Great heel lockdown
  • Head-turning sleek design
  • Elite-level spike
  • Perfect for 100-400m sprints
  • Notched laces keep the shoe tied


  • Pricey

Full review of Nike Zoom Superfly Elite 2

Best track shoes for race

Nike Air Zoom Maxfly



What makes it the best?

We pushed track spikes to the limit and found Nike’s Air Zoom MaxFly as the best racer. MaxFly screams maximum record-breaking speed with its light weight, race-ready fit, and snappy ride. We learned it showed optimum performance in 100-400m events and surprisingly felt comfortable on foot. We believe this premium spike is one of the most advanced of its kind, justifying its $180 price tag.

MaxFly gives one of the most unique rides we’ve ever tried. For a racer, it’s pleasantly cushioned with full-length ZoomX foam and has an Air Zoom unit in the forefoot that launches us forward. The ride feels incredibly energetic because of the stiff Flyplate, culminating in the most comfortable yet fastest spike we’ve raced in. We feel like flying since it’s so light on the foot.

Underfoot, transitions feel smooth and the overall ride feels steady thanks to the highly engineered spike plate. The forefoot has 7 spike pins for reliable traction on the track.

Nike’s Flyweave upper feels high-quality. Together with the laces and slightly padded heels, the fit is spot-on. We’re confident that the lockdown is secure, allowing us to focus on smashing our PBs.

We discovered MaxFly is not for maximum distances and performs best on events 800m and below. We recommend exploring other options for mid-to-long-distance track runs.


  • Extremely springy ride
  • Snug, performance-oriented fit
  • Propulsion from Flyplate and Zoom Air
  • Premium design and materials
  • Ideal for 100-400m sprints
  • Can be used for hurdles
  • Unmatched comfort and speed
  • Notched laces for secure lockdown


  • Expensive
  • Requires some adaptation
  • Can feel unstable for some

Full review of Nike Air Zoom Maxfly

Best track shoes for long distance

Nike ZoomX Dragonfly



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What makes it the best?

The Nike ZoomX Dragonfly feels like a dream with its airiness, speed, and comfort for track runs. We felt like flying in our high-mileage efforts as this elite racer shines best in 3K-10K distances. It’s extremely supportive and powerful, making it our best spike for long distances.

ZoomX Dragonfly feels pleasantly bouncy and fast throughout our track workouts. We noticed its capability to sustain our power for long efforts, thanks to the stiff Pebax plate that ensures a smooth and efficient ride. Its premium ZoomX foam is Nike’s lightest and most responsive foam and has really good arch support. It’s supportive enough that our legs don’t feel too beaten up even after intense efforts.

The bottom has a full-length spike plate with a sharkskin heel for extra grip. It also includes 6 removable stainless-steel pins for reliable traction on track. We had no slips even as we encountered curves at high speed.

This premium spike is a real pleasure to be in since the Fly Mesh upper feels lightweight and airy. It has many perforations for breathability and feels comfortable to be in.

To experience its elite performance means paying a higher price tag of $150. We recommend those on a budget to explore other options.


  • Perfect for 3k-10k
  • Works for 400m-1600m as well
  • Bouncy and fast
  • Full-length spike plate
  • Super breathable
  • Perfect laces
  • Wow looks
  • Elite-level spike
  • Worth the price


  • Tongue bunches up
  • Pricey

Full review of Nike ZoomX Dragonfly

Best cross-country track shoes

Nike Zoom Victory XC 5



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What makes it the best?

Nike Zoom Victory XC 5 is all about speed and we found it the best for cross-country races. Amidst all its snappiness, it feels so lightweight and comfortable. This high-quality spike provides great traction for rough terrains and prevents the build-up of dirt underfoot.

Zoom Victory is meant to race with its snug fit, airy build, and horseshoe-shaped carbon plate in the forefoot. Its Vaporweave upper is water-resistant so it doesn’t feel sluggish on wet and muddy races. Meanwhile, its carbon plate gives us responsive toe-offs and stability on uneven courses, which we highly appreciate on cross-country tracks.

Even with all its energy, this spike surprisingly offers a pleasant ride. Its flexible nature and full-length foam offer much comfort. It has the right amount of cushion to stay light and to provide protection from landing impact.

Underfoot is an outsole with non-identical lugs for multi-surface traction and less clogging of dirt and mud. It has 6 spike pins under the forefoot, which adds extra grip and evenly distributes the pressure on our feet.

We recommend those with wide feet to look elsewhere since this spike is very narrow. It took us more effort than usual to put our feet in.


  • True to size
  • Super snappy
  • Stable
  • Anti-clog outsole
  • Flexible
  • Durable
  • Superb traction
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Good value for money


  • Very narrow

Full review of Nike Zoom Victory XC 5

Why use a track shoe

Here are some of the distinct components of a track and field shoe that make it more efficient for the sport than other types of athletic shoes:

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  • Lightweight and breathable: Track and field shoes are light and airy because of the thin mesh upper that usually accompanies them. usually have a rigid upper construction to provide a snug fit.
  • Snug fit: Aside from a thin mesh, the upper of track shoes have a rigid structure to provide a snug fit and keep the foot in place.
  • Minimal midsole: Unlike other cleat-type footwear such as those for football and soccer, track shoes usually have a midsole that is thin and minimal. It acts as both underfoot cushioning and impact absorber.
  • Spike pins and spike plate: Some track shoes use spike pins. These are small pointed attachments on a plastic plate that aid in gripping the track surface. Spike pins vary in type, size (pin width), and number depending on the event it is used for.

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Track shoes vs running shoes: 3 key differences

Although track-and-field as a sport includes running events, the shoes used for those are different than the typical running shoe. Each shoe has its particular design and purpose, which we can differentiate through the following:

  • Weight: Track and field shoes are significantly lighter than running shoes. They use fewer materials and are relatively smaller in figure because they intend to boost the athlete’s momentum.
  • Cushioning: Track spikes for running events are thin and minimal. On the other hand, running shoes are plush and substantial as their focus is on underfoot cushioning and arch support.
  • Overall appearance: The most noticeable difference between track shoes and running shoes is the use of spikes. Track shoes for running use spike pins to make the forefoot higher and promote better traction.

Track and field shoe categories

The various events within the track-and-field sport are distinctive from one another and, as such, require the use of different shoes. Here are the types of track spikes and the notable qualities of each one:

Running events

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  • lightweight
  • little-to-no cushioning
  • around 7-8 spike pins
  • little-to-moderate amount of cushioning
  • more tapered forefoot compared to sprint spikes
  • around 6 spike pins
  • most flexible of all running track shoes
  • around 4-6 spike pins (to keep the shoe lightweight)

Jumping spikes

Long-jump / Triple-jumpHigh-jumpPole vault
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  • has an extra layer of cushioning for protection
  • usually flat in the heel area for more stability and power during the jump
  • uses a sturdy upper material for durability during varied movements
  • has a midfoot strap to keep the foot in place during run-up and take-off
  • employs spikes in the heel for increased support and traction
  • underfoot structure is the most rigid among all jumping track shoes
  • heel area is more padded compared to other jumping shoes

Throwing events

Javelin / Shot put / Discus throw / Hammer throw
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  • Throwing shoes are versatile and can be used in any of the sports included in the throwing events
  • These shoes do not use spike pins as throwing events include circular and pivoting motions that do not require the additional grip
  • Slightly bulky, to keep the athlete firm on their position without unnecessary movements
  • Has a smooth (but not slippery) outsole to allow for a fluid spinning motion

Frequently asked questions

Are spike pins important in track shoes?

There is no absolute rule that track and field shoes should be used with spike pins. Additionally, not all track shoes are used with spike pins. When used accordingly, spike pins improve traction and support.

Are socks important?

You might be hesitant to use socks because track shoes are intended to fit snugly on its own. Socks are not important. Many athletes prefer not to wear socks because it makes the fit of the shoe too tight and the movements uncomfortable.


Zack Dunn

I race distances between 800 meters and 10K whether it be on the track, the roads, or on cross country courses. My typical training consists of easy days, long days, workouts (fartleks, tempos, interval training, etc.). My typical training paces range from 7’30 a mile on easy days to sub-5 minutes a mile on fast interval days, and with many paces in between. I run anywhere from 40-60 miles a week. My personal bests are 2:00 for 800m, 4:30 for 1600m, 9:50 for 3200m, 15:57 for 5K, and 34:10 for 10K.

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Similar buying guides

Best sprints track spikes

5 Best Track Spikes in 2024 (2024)


5 Best Track Spikes in 2024? ›

Bolt competed in Puma track spikes throughout his career, while Bromell does so in New Balance track spikes.

What spikes do Usain Bolt use? ›

Bolt competed in Puma track spikes throughout his career, while Bromell does so in New Balance track spikes.

What is the best spike for 800m? ›

What Makes a Spike Good For Distance?
The Best Distance Spikes of 2024
Spike TypeOur Picks
Best Spike for Middle Distance (800m, 1500m, 1600m) EventsNike Air Zoom Victory
Best Spike for Long Distance (3000m, 3200m, 5000m, and 10,000m) EventsNike ZoomX Dragonfly
Best Distance Spike for BeginnersNike Zoom Rival Distance
Dec 29, 2023

What spikes do 400m runners use? ›

Shop Spikes for Sprints (Up To 400m)
  • Nike track spikes.
  • New Balance track spikes.
  • Saucony track spikes.

What shoes do 800m runners wear? ›

Mid-distance track spikes are lightweight, but they still offer some cushioning in the heel to provide comfort during 800 to 1600-meter runs. They're not as firm as track spikes for sprinters and not as cushioned as traditional running shoes.

Can you run 400m in spikes? ›


For short distances at speed, sprinting spikes are best for 100 metre to 400 metre sprints on a track. The lightest running shoe on the market they are designed to put the runner on their toes, leaving them with little to no cushioning at the heels and usually quite stiff.

Do Nike spikes make you faster? ›

The spikes or pins on the bottom of the shoes provide improved traction and stability, allowing athletes to run faster and jump further. This can make a significant difference in races and other events, leading to better times and distances.

Do sharper spikes make you run faster? ›

This can give a sense of faster foot and leg speed. Stiff spike plate - a rigid spike plate can increase the efficiency of energy transfer during contact, ultimately leading to reduced ground contact time- a key characteristic of elite sprinters.

Are 1 4 inch spikes legal? ›

Spikes are permitted during practice. Spike length must not exceed ¼ inch in length.

Can you run an 800 in sprinter spikes? ›

For the 800 you can run in shoes as minimal as sprint spikes if you like. My suggestion to you is to get some distance spikes if you are the 800/1600 type or some sprint spikes if you are the 400/800 type. Middle distance spikes could also be a nice compromise.

Can you use XC spikes for track? ›

Can't I just wear Track (sprint) spikes in Cross Country races? While Cross Country spikes and Track spikes are similar, they are NOT the same. You can wear XC spikes in Track, but not the other way around.

Should I wear spikes for the 3200? ›

Events include 800m, 1600m, the Mile, 3200m, 5000m, 10,000m, and Steeplechase. Distance spikes run the gamut of longer track races. A good rule of thumb is if your race is longer than one lap, you should wear a distance spike.

What are best sprinting spikes? ›

What Shoes are Best For Sprinting
The Best Sprint Spikes of 2024
Best Overall Sprint SpikeNike Zoom Maxfly
Most Aggressive Sprint SpikePUMA evoSPEED Tokyo Future Faster+ 4
Best Traditional Sprint SpikeNike Zoom Superfly Elite 2
Best Sprint Spike for Power SprintersNew Balance FuelCell PWR-X
3 more rows
Jan 15, 2024

Should I run in track spikes? ›

They have the ability to go the distance while still allowing for a kick, can be worn for longer races, and even used for hurdling and some field events. For these reasons, they're a great choice for not only middle-distance runners, but also track and field athletes who do a little bit of everything.

What are the most common spikes? ›

Replacement track spikes come in many styles but the pyramid, needle, Christmas tree, and tartan are the most popular. A) Pyramid Spikes– For cross country and most tracks since they are less aggressive on the flooring.

What are the best spikes for distance track? ›

Distance Track & Field Spikes. Nike Dragonfly is the top distance spike for this track and field season, offering a high energy return while keeping your body fresh all track season long.

Does it matter what spikes you get for track? ›

Purpose: Different track spikes are designed for specific events, such as sprinting, middle distance, or jumping. Make sure to select a pair that is appropriate for the events you will be participating in.


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